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Rhonda Fleming, actress from Hollywood’s golden age who starred alongside Ronald Reagan, dies at 97

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rhonda fleming actress from hollywoods golden age who starred alongside ronald reagan dies at 97

Actress Rhonda Fleming, the fiery redhead who appeared with Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan and other film stars of the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 97.

Fleming’s assistant Carla Sapon told The New York Times that Fleming died Wednesday in Santa Monica, California.

From her first film in color, ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court ‘ (1949) with Bing Crosby, Fleming became immensely popular with producers because of her vivid hues. It was an attraction she would later regret.

Rhonda Fleming died Wednesday in Santa Monica, California, her assistant shared. She was 97 years old (pictured in 2010)

Rhonda Fleming died Wednesday in Santa Monica, California, her assistant shared. She was 97 years old (pictured in 2010)

Fleming poses for a studio portrait. She was originally named Marilyn Louis before her agent had her name changed

Fleming poses for a studio portrait. She was originally named Marilyn Louis before her agent had her name changed

Rhonda Fleming died Wednesday in Santa Monica, California, her assistant shared. She was 97 years old (pictured in 2010, left and in 1945, right)

Fleming, a fiery redhead appeared with Hollywood's leading men in the 1940s including Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan. She is pictured with Reagan in Hong Kong in 1954

Fleming, a fiery redhead appeared with Hollywood's leading men in the 1940s including Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan. She is pictured with Reagan in Hong Kong in 1954

Fleming, a fiery redhead appeared with Hollywood’s leading men in the 1940s including Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan. She is pictured with Reagan in Hong Kong in 1954

‘Suddenly my green eyes were green. My red hair was flaming red. My skin was porcelain white,’ Fleming remarked in a 1990 interview. ‘There was suddenly all this attention on how I looked rather than the roles I was playing.

‘I’d been painted into a corner by the studios, who never wanted more from me than my looking good and waltzing through a parade of films like ‘The Redhead and the Cowboy.’ ‘

Before Reagan entered politics, the actress co-starred with him in ‘Hong Kong,’ ‘Tropic Zone,’ ‘The Last Outpost’ and ‘Tennessee´s Partner.’

‘He surprised everyone because he never looked in a mirror,’ she once said of Reagan. ‘How many actors can you say that about?’

Fleming was known for her work in Hollywood films throughout the 40s and 50s, as well as her looks

Fleming was known for her work in Hollywood films throughout the 40s and 50s, as well as her looks

Fleming was known for her work in Hollywood films throughout the 40s and 50s, as well as her looks

Fleming blossoms out as a singer and dancer in the first night club appearance of her career at the New Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas in 1957

Fleming blossoms out as a singer and dancer in the first night club appearance of her career at the New Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas in 1957

Fleming blossoms out as a singer and dancer in the first night club appearance of her career at the New Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas in 1957

Before Reagan entered politics, the actress co-starred with him in 'Hong Kong,' 'Tropic Zone,' 'The Last Outpost' (pictured) and 'Tennessee´s Partner'

Before Reagan entered politics, the actress co-starred with him in 'Hong Kong,' 'Tropic Zone,' 'The Last Outpost' (pictured) and 'Tennessee´s Partner'

Before Reagan entered politics, the actress co-starred with him in ‘Hong Kong,’ ‘Tropic Zone,’ ‘The Last Outpost’ (pictured) and ‘Tennessee´s Partner’

Fleming possessed a fine singing voice, and later in her career sang onstage in Las Vegas and in a touring act.

In the big-studio era, many new personalities were publicized as having been discovered in quirky ways: Kim Novak while riding a bicycle past an agent’s office, Lana Turner spotted in a malt shop.

In Fleming’s case, young Marilyn Louis was reported to have been headed to class at Beverly Hills High School when a man followed her in a big black car and told her, ‘You ought to be in pictures.’ She eluded him, but he turned up at her home and offered to be her agent.

Legend or not, at 19 Louis was awarded a six-month contract at the studio of David O. Selznick and a new name: Rhonda Fleming. She played a bit part in the 1944 wartime drama ‘Since You Went Away,’ and then Alfred Hitchcock chose her to play a nymphomaniac in ‘Spellbound,’ starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck.

Fleming reads in her penthouse apartment in Rome

Fleming reads in her penthouse apartment in Rome

Fleming reads in her penthouse apartment in Rome

‘I rushed home, and my mother and I looked up `nymphomaniac´ in the dictionary,’ she recalled. ‘We were both shocked.’

‘Spellbound’ led to another suspense film, ‘The Spiral Staircase,’ in which she was strangled by the villain, George Brent. With Selznick concentrating on the career of his wife, Jennifer Jones, he lost interest in his contract players, and Fleming left the studio to freelance.

Her next films: ‘Abilene Town,’ a Randolph Scott Western; ‘Out of the Past,’ a film noir with Robert Mitchum; and ‘Adventure Island,’ a tropics thriller starring Rory Calhoun.

She won a role in ‘A Connecticut Yankee,’ a Crosby musical based on the Mark Twain story, after Deanna Durbin dropped out to retire to France. Crosby was so impressed that he recommended her to Bob Hope, with whom she starred in ‘The Great Lover.’

Ironically, the Crosby/Hope films that established her as a luminary proved to be ones she was never able to top. She remained a star for 15 years, but except for the Lancaster-Douglas ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral,’ most of her performances came in B pictures that exploited her looks.

Flemings was married a total of five times. Pictured in 1978 with her last husband, Ted Mann

Flemings was married a total of five times. Pictured in 1978 with her last husband, Ted Mann

Flemings was married a total of five times. Pictured in 1978 with her last husband, Ted Mann

Richard M. Nixon, then Republican candidate for governor of California, chats with Fleming, actor George Murphy and actress- singer Jane Powell in Hollywood in 1962

Richard M. Nixon, then Republican candidate for governor of California, chats with Fleming, actor George Murphy and actress- singer Jane Powell in Hollywood in 1962

Richard M. Nixon, then Republican candidate for governor of California, chats with Fleming, actor George Murphy and actress- singer Jane Powell in Hollywood in 1962

‘I made the mistake of doing lesser films for good money,’ she reflected in a 1976 interview. ‘I was hot – they all wanted me – but I didn´t have the guidance or background to judge for myself.’

Among her 1950s films were ‘While the City Sleeps,’ directed by Fritz Lang and co-starring Dana Andrews. She played Cleopatra in the 1953 film ‘Serpent of the Nile.’

But many titles were forgettable: ‘The Eagle and the Hawk,’ ‘The Last Outpost,’ ‘Little Egypt,’ ‘The Killer Is Loose,’ ‘Slightly Scarlet,’ ‘Crosswinds’ and ‘Pony Express’ (with Charlton Heston), ‘Inferno,’ ‘Those Redheads from Seattle,’ ‘Yankee Pasha,’ and ‘Gun Glory.’

After her film career cooled off, Fleming took a singing act to Las Vegas, appeared in TV shows and commercials, starred on Broadway in a revival of ‘The Women’ and sang as the temptress Lalume in ‘Kismet’ for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera.

She was born in Los Angeles in 1923. Her mother, Effie Graham, had appeared in a 1914 Broadway musical with Al Jolson, and her grandfather was a theatrical producer in Salt Lake City. She studied acting, but as a backup also took classes in shorthand, typing and bookkeeping.

Fleming in the 1957 Paramount film The Buster Keaton Story

Fleming in the 1957 Paramount film The Buster Keaton Story

Fleming in the 1957 Paramount film The Buster Keaton Story

Fleming in 1947 getting direction from director Cecil B DeMille (left) alongside Tay Garnett (right)

Fleming in 1947 getting direction from director Cecil B DeMille (left) alongside Tay Garnett (right)

Fleming in 1947 getting direction from director Cecil B DeMille (left) alongside Tay Garnett (right)

While still in her teens, Fleming married her high school sweetheart, Thomas Lane. A son, Kent, was born in 1941. When Lane returned from Army service, Rhonda had become a star, and the marriage ended in 1947. Three other marriages also ended in divorce, to Beverly Hills surgeon Lewis Morrill (1952-1958); actor Lang Jeffries (1960-1962); and producer-director Hall Bartlett (1966-1972).

In 1977 Fleming married mogul Ted Mann, who built the Mann Theater chain, and the marriage lasted until his death in 2001. For many years, they lived in matching 4,300-square-foot condominiums, one on top of the other in a Century City high-rise. ‘I treasure my privacy, and Ted needs his,’ she once explained. ‘We love each other very much. I’m much more fulfilled today than at any time in my life.’

After Fleming’s sister, Beverly Engel, died of cancer in 1991, Fleming and her husband established the Rhonda Fleming Mann Resource Center for Women with Cancer at the UCLA Medical Center. They also was active in various other charities for cancer patients, children and the homeless.

A couple of years after Mann died, Fleming married for a sixth time, to Derol W. Carlson, who died in 2017.

Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming on the set of The Great Lover by Alexander Hall

Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming on the set of The Great Lover by Alexander Hall

Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming on the set of The Great Lover by Alexander Hall

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Australia

Steve ‘Commando’ Willis wins AVO against former client after series of bizarre incidents

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steve commando willis wins avo against former client after series of bizarre incidents

Steve ‘Commando’ Willis has won an apprehended violence order against a former longtime client, after a magistrate found he had ‘reasonable fear’ of her stalking him.   

A court on Friday heard of a series of incidents involving Jun ‘Margaret’ Yue including her showing up near Willis’ home on Christmas Eve, meeting him at parks where he trained and turning up at the airport when he returned from overseas. 

Magistrate Jennifer Price told the Downing Centre Local Court that Yue called Willis ‘shifu’ – a term in Mandarin that means ‘master’ – and that they trained together more than 120 times. 

But Willis told the court he became ‘anxious and distressed’ by Yue’s behaviour over the course of 2019 and 2020, with the magistrate recalling the facts of a series of up to seven alleged incidents.

Jun 'Margaret' Yue was a longtime client of Biggest Loser star Steve 'Commando' Willis (above, during a boot camp in Perth) but on Friday he was granted an apprehended violence order against Ms Yue, a magistrate finding he had reasonable fear of being stalked

Jun 'Margaret' Yue was a longtime client of Biggest Loser star Steve 'Commando' Willis (above, during a boot camp in Perth) but on Friday he was granted an apprehended violence order against Ms Yue, a magistrate finding he had reasonable fear of being stalked

Jun ‘Margaret’ Yue was a longtime client of Biggest Loser star Steve ‘Commando’ Willis (above, during a boot camp in Perth) but on Friday he was granted an apprehended violence order against Ms Yue, a magistrate finding he had reasonable fear of being stalked

The magistrate said she did not find Ms Yue's (above) evidence to be persuasive, noting her inability to recall details when they were 'inconvenient'

The magistrate said she did not find Ms Yue's (above) evidence to be persuasive, noting her inability to recall details when they were 'inconvenient'

The magistrate said she did not find Ms Yue’s (above) evidence to be persuasive, noting her inability to recall details when they were ‘inconvenient’

Those included Ms Yue, who lived near Sydney International Airport, attending the Sydney International Airport uninvited in November 2019. 

Willis was returning home from a boot camp in Tahiti that Yue had wanted to go to but couldn’t afford to attend. 

At a hearing, Ms Yue agreed that she attended the airport ‘in case Willis required a lift home’.

She claimed she lived 10 minutes from there, was nearby due to personal business and had a copy of the itinerary of the bootcamp. 

Ms Yue didn’t agree that it was strange behaviour to turn up to the airport to give the PT an unsolicited lift. 

The court heard she texted Willis to notify him that she was there and he replied saying he had an appointment and there was ‘no need’ for her to be waiting or contacting him. 

Another incident occurred on Christmas Eve last year, when she allegedly came to his then-home in Sydney’s east where he lived with his now former partner Michelle Bridges. 

Mr Willis said Ms Yue allegedly claimed in messages that she wanted to give him presents, had been waiting outside his home ‘for an hour’, complained she could be spending time with her own family and referenced his partner Bridges being home cooking dinner. 

Ms Yue claimed in court that she had attended his home because his gym was in the garage and that he cancelled a training session without notice.

She said she ‘could not recall’ a message about Bridges cooking dinner.  

Willis on the beach with his new girlfriend Harika Vancuylenberg, above, recently. Vancuylenberg was originally a party to the AVO

Willis on the beach with his new girlfriend Harika Vancuylenberg, above, recently. Vancuylenberg was originally a party to the AVO

Willis on the beach with his new girlfriend Harika Vancuylenberg, above, recently. Vancuylenberg was originally a party to the AVO

Ballet dancer and taekwondo black belt Jun 'Margaret' Yue fought the AVO application - even tapping a barrister to represent her - however the effort fell short

Ballet dancer and taekwondo black belt Jun 'Margaret' Yue fought the AVO application - even tapping a barrister to represent her - however the effort fell short

Ballet dancer and taekwondo black belt Jun ‘Margaret’ Yue fought the AVO application – even tapping a barrister to represent her – however the effort fell short

Other incidents referenced in the case included her turning up at a park in Kirribilli and Willis claiming she told him she had been turning up for a week to see him.

She also turned up to a park in Rouse Hill where he held boot camps to pay him after a dispute over money and would not concede that was very far from Rosebery, where she lived.

Magistrate Price found Willis appeared to be truthful and ‘presented as very credible’ and, as the only prosecution case, the case hinged solely upon his evidence. Meanwhile, Ms Yue gave an impression of being ‘socially awkward’.

‘I did not find her evidence persuasive, noting her inability to explain certain details when they appeared inconvenient,’ the magistrate said.

‘I am satisfied as to the evidence has established on the balance of probabilities there are reasonable grounds to fear stalking by the defendant.’

Ms Yue spoke only three words in court – ‘yes, your honour’, in acknowledging she understood the terms of the order. 

The terms include not stalking, harassing or assaulting Willis or going within 200m of him and his places of work. 

The magistrate did however note there had never been any suggestion of violence or threats from Ms Yue, who had opposed the order, tapping a barrister. 

The order will be in place for up to two years. 

More to come 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Sydney is cocaine capital of Australia and Victorians prefer opioids, Wastewater Drug report reveals

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sydney is cocaine capital of australia and victorians prefer opioids wastewater drug report reveals

Sydney is still the cocaine capital of Australia, Melburnians prefer opioids and Brisbane has the highest levels of MDMA, according to a report from the Australian Crime and Intelligence Commission. 

There was record high consumption of cocaine, cannabis and nicotine in capital cities during the pandemic, the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring report released on Thursday said. 

The report, which tests sewage for traces of drugs, also found regional areas had record high consumption of methylamphetamine and heroin.  

ACIC CEO Mr Michael Phelan APM said there have been ‘some price increases, particularly at a wholesale level’ but this has not decreased demand. 

‘Even in locations where considerable price increases have been reported, consumption of some drugs has increased,’ he said.   

People go out in Sydney after the city reopened. Sydney is still the cocaine capital of Australia as it recorded the second highest consumption levels of the drug in history in June

People go out in Sydney after the city reopened. Sydney is still the cocaine capital of Australia as it recorded the second highest consumption levels of the drug in history in June

People go out in Sydney after the city reopened. Sydney is still the cocaine capital of Australia as it recorded the second highest consumption levels of the drug in history in June

New South Wales

Sydney is still the cocaine capital of Australia as it recorded the second highest consumption levels of the drug in history in June. 

By contrast, regional NSW saw a large decrease in cocaine use between December 2019 and April 2020. 

Sydneysiders also recorded a major spike in cannabis use in June despite a steady decline in demand since October, 2019.

Alcohol consumption dropped in both Sydney and regional areas in April as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down pubs and clubs. When pubs reopened a month later, alcohol use skyrocketed to just under pre-COVID levels. 

Nicotine use increased significantly in data recorded in February and June in Sydney.

After a major spike in heroin use in February, the drug has declined in popularity in Sydney since then. 

Victoria

Melburnians relied heavily on cocaine in June during the city’s strict lockdown while the drug decreased in popularity in regional Victoria.

There was also a small spike in MDMA use between April and June in Melbourne but the levels overall remained low. 

Unlike every other state, Victoria recorded an increase in heroin use at the start of COVID-19 pandemic, when it was declining in other capital cities. 

Regional Victorians, like Tasmanians, are the highest users of oxycodone. 

Researchers say a ‘long-term pattern’ is methalyphetamine use, which also increased from April to June in regional Victoria. 

A 'postponed' notice sits across a live music acts list outside a pub in the Fitzroy suburb of Melbourne. Melburnians heavily used cocaine in June during the city's strict lockdown while the drug decreased in popularity in regional Victoria

A 'postponed' notice sits across a live music acts list outside a pub in the Fitzroy suburb of Melbourne. Melburnians heavily used cocaine in June during the city's strict lockdown while the drug decreased in popularity in regional Victoria

A ‘postponed’ notice sits across a live music acts list outside a pub in the Fitzroy suburb of Melbourne. Melburnians heavily used cocaine in June during the city’s strict lockdown while the drug decreased in popularity in regional Victoria

Queensland

Brisbane had the highest levels of MDA use in the country, along with Hobart. MDA is a derivative of MDMA with similar effects.   

Queenslanders were drinking at regular levels throughout lockdown, although there was a slight decrease recorded in Brisbane during April. 

Cannabis use rose in both the capital city and regions during the same month.

Brisbane registered a record high in cocaine use during February before use of the party drug decreased significantly.  

Western Australia  

Perth had the highest levels of methylone use in the country. Methylone is a highly addictive synthetic drug that has similar effects to MDMA.  

MDMA use also increased in Western Australia, along with cannabis and cocaine consumption. 

The city still has high levels of heroin consumption but it declined from April to June.

WA, along with SA, recorded a drop in nicotine and alcohol use. Methylamphetamine use more than halved between April and June.  

South Australia 

Adelaide had the highest level of methylamphetamine use among Australian capital cities. 

Regional South Australia also had a dramatic increase in methylamphetamine use in April with levels exceeding Adelaide’s for the first time.

Adelaide also experienced a spike in cannabis use during the COVID-19 pandemic while use was also at record high levels in regional SA. 

Between February and April, MDMA use declined in Adelaide before returning to pre-COVID levels in June  

South Australia is one of two states (the other being WA) to report declining levels of nicotine and alcohol use.

A wide shot of the skyline in Perth, WA. Perth had the highest levels of methylone use in the country. Methylone is a highly addictive synthetic drug that has similar effects to MDMA

A wide shot of the skyline in Perth, WA. Perth had the highest levels of methylone use in the country. Methylone is a highly addictive synthetic drug that has similar effects to MDMA

A wide shot of the skyline in Perth, WA. Perth had the highest levels of methylone use in the country. Methylone is a highly addictive synthetic drug that has similar effects to MDMA

ACT 

Canberra and the ACT recorded the highest levels of cannabis and cocaine use on record in June. 

Unlike other states and territories, cannabis has been decriminalised in the ACT since January, meaning penalties for possession have been removed. 

Adults can possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis, 150 grams of fresh cannabis, grow up to two cannabis plants per person with a maximum of four plants per household and use cannabis in their homes in Canberra. 

Nicotine consumption also increased in the ACT while heroin use fell sharply. 

Tasmania 

Hobart had the highest levels of cannabis, ocxycodone and fentanyl use in the country. It also had high levels of MDA use, along with Brisbane.   

Heroin use also increased in Hobart while cannabis was also popular in regional Tasmania.      

Alcohol and methylamphetamine intake declined steadily across the state.  

Northern Territory 

Darwin reported a record high consumption of cannabis in February followed by another spike in use in June while levels also remained high in regional areas. 

The NT is the only state or territory to experience a major spike in MDA, which is a derivative of MDMA, which was highly used in the Top End compared to other states

Nicotine consumption also increased in the NT while while methylamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl usage is taking a downturn. 

A general view of Coolangatta beach in Queensland. Brisbane had the highest levels of MDA use in the country, along with Hobart. MDA is a derivative of MDMA with similar effects

A general view of Coolangatta beach in Queensland. Brisbane had the highest levels of MDA use in the country, along with Hobart. MDA is a derivative of MDMA with similar effects

A general view of Coolangatta beach in Queensland. Brisbane had the highest levels of MDA use in the country, along with Hobart. MDA is a derivative of MDMA with similar effects

The ACIC sampling covered around 56 per cent of the population, or more than 13 million people.

Some 55 wastewater treatment plants took part in the testing, which monitored the consumption of 13 substances.

Mr Phelan said despite the restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic criminal groups were operating on a ‘business as usual’ basis importing, manufacturing and trafficking illicit drugs.

‘Results from this report underline the resilience and variety of regional drug markets in Australia,’ he said.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Convenience store giant 7-Eleven is forced to fork out $173.6million after underpaying workers 

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convenience store giant 7 eleven is forced to fork out 173 6million after underpaying workers

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has been forced to repay $173.6million after it was caught underpaying more than 4,000 workers.

An investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsmen found several Australian franchisees had been intentionally paying staff below legal wages and falsifying records to cover it up.

The chain forked out the cash to staff after reaching an agreement with the Ombudsmen in 2016.

More to come 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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